Moscow Film Festival Film Review- Middleground (reviewed by Joshenka)

Middleground (the Russian title is Осколки), a film by Alisa Khazanova, is, in a word, confusing. The entire film is shot in episodes with no clear underlying plot or clear chronological order. Most of the characters appear in each episode, or at least in many episodes throughout the film, but the relationship between them isn’t always clear. This is clearly done in an effort to disorient the audience and make them attempt to immerse themselves into the film in order to understand what is happening. This is pretty brilliantly done, as just enough is given to the audience to see that there is some underlying plot following these characters, but nowhere near enough to truly understand what is happening. I also found that none of the characters where likable, as the male protagonist cares for and respects his wife very little and the female protagonist feels the same about her husband yet both exist as they do in a constant state of disappointment with each other, but yet I wanted to know more about them every scene. Overall, this film is unorthodox and not for those who enjoy a traditional movie experience, but it’s interesting, captivating, and thought-provoking.

The filmmaker at Moscow Film Festival